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IT’S WORSE THAN YOU THINK: GOP’S BUDGET DISASTER WILL WRECK STUDENT TESTING

BATON ROUGE — As the full ramifications of the GOP’s budget disaster continue to unfold, it’s clear the situation our governor-in-absentia has created is even worse than initially understood. This week the Louisiana education superintendent, John White, told the House Appropriations Committee that the current spending plan would wreck the state’s ability to measure student performance. On top of the brutal hit higher education has taken under the GOP’s gross financial mismanagement, the $1.6 billion budget gap inflicted on taxpayers now threatens to put our education department in violation of state and federal laws.

Such violations will inflict still more pain on Louisiana families, with approximately $800 million in federal education money lost as a result. And at today’s budget hearing, Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo noted that the inevitable tuition increases the draconian GOP budget demands will have the effect of driving down enrollment.

“At a time when Louisiana’s support for higher education is mired at the very bottom of state rankings across the country, it’s devastating to see how badly Republican mismanagement of taxpayer money is going to impact Louisiana families and the dreams they have for their children,” said Stephen Handwerk, Executive Director of the Louisiana Democratic Party.

With the threat of public bankruptcy of Louisiana higher education looming as the legislature gavels back into session next week, Louisiana Democrats return to the fight eager to protect those dreams and to restore fiscal responsibility to a state government the GOP has been content to run into the ground on autopilot. We can, and we must, do better than this.

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